Got life?

FaceBook Song - Rhett & Link

“Too much of a good thing”

Recently in a conversation with a good friend and colleague the topic of “social networking” came up; you know the typical Face Book, My space, Twitter and Google+ and for the professionals, LinkedIn.

In the process of the conversation, my friend was amazed to find out that this writer not only had one but several of these social networking sites. As the conversation concluded and we both got ready to go our separate ways, he turned and jokingly said, “Hey, got life”? It was a light hearted attempt to play off of the much over played “Got milk?’ commercial. The intent however, was clear, he was implying that I no longer had a life.

Everyone who has read any number of my articles on line in the past knows well my position that I do believe Internet and Social Networking friends are wonderful and can be real and genuine friends. As such, no offense is meant nor should be taken here at this writer’s response to my friend’s implication that social networking diminished or disintegrated my life.

In pondering my friend’s statement however, it occurred to me that much of the time formerly spent in reading, writing, tinkering with the car and keeping it in good shape, building or repairing computers, just listening to music, playing my guitar or the occasional fishing trip had been vastly reduced or even banished from my life.

The memories of life without the internet, the web, social networking and smart phones became more appealing with each and every thought. Then suddenly it occurred to me that even my generation known as the “baby boomers” full of free thinking and expression had become too caught up in technology.

In my alternate career as an insurance adjuster which was supposed to have been vastly improved with the use of computers, cell phones, blue tooth digital cameras and printers over 20 years ago, it became apparent that was not the case.

Instead of an eight or nine hour day, most adjusters (and especially field adjusters) today spend that much time in the field and then another two to four hours writing estimates, reports and posting photos on the web either at their office or from home. Also at issue and both annoyance and hindrance to the adjuster’s work is the constant request and often demand of a status from the field via the cell phone.

Twenty years ago, the cell phone was used rarely. The adjuster received his assignments during the day, went out to the field and usually checked in at mid day via a body shop phone or stopped by the office at the end of the day and picked up his messages.

No fewer assignments were completed and in many cases more were.

The same is true in the pastorate, counseling or even writing. An editor waiting till the end of the day or next morning was not a big deal nor was contacting the pastor or psychologist. If it was a real genuine emergency, the pastor or psychologist could be located.

Today, with all do respect to all my technologically dependent friends; as that old saying goes, “You can get too much of good thing”.

Make no mistake, this writer loves technology even to the point of building, repairing and upgrading computers, designing web and blog sites, loving every minute of my wide screen plasma television (and yes, they use more energy and have a shorter life span than an LCD or LED but the picture is far better) and down loading every app possible for my android phone.

The truth is, we have become way too dependent on technology. It might have enhanced our lives but the jury is still out as to whether or not technology has increased the quality of life.

Today every aspect of life is dependent on one form or another of technology. People have a party, they use Twitter, they want to develop friendships, they use Face Book, My Space or Google+ and if they want to develop a better business network, they use LinkedIn.

Even counseling or church is possible on line, this pastor/writer has even developed a Prayer Page on Face Book which allows prayer request to go out to thousands of people at one time via Twitter almost instantly.

So the question is “Got life?” or maybe more appropriately “Got a better life?” In this writer’s opinion life might have improved slightly but it is not necessarily better.

Regardless of your thought, the truth is that only Jesus brings real, genuine life. The apostle John reminds us that “In Him was life and that life was the light of men” John 1:4. Without Jesus, all the technology in the world won’t improve the quality of life.

©Copyright 2011 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III

Jesus is Life by Steven Curtis Chapman

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Comments 7 comments

Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas Author

phdast7- Thank you for your "rant"...LOL As a fellow, PhDer, I love the ranting and appreciate your time in reading and commenting on my Hub. I do editing part-time as well and relate well to your comment. I agree with all you said. Thanks so much for stopping by. I assure you I will visit and comment on your Hubs as well.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great Hub. And I loved the Facebook Friends Video. Priceless. :) I too am a baby boomer and although I appreciate the many benefits of the modern world and technology, I also think we have lost something.

Ten hours typing snippets of one's life on Facebook for "100 acquaintance-friends" to see is not the same in quality or meaning as one hour spent face to face with a good friend.

I am a history professor and despite all the many statements to the contrary, our hooked up, plugged in, tech savvy students are not smarter, they have shorter attention spans, they seem to have fewer deep relationshipd and lead (in spite of all their many connections!) more insular and constricted lives.

They don't read as much and they certainly don;t write as well. They know a lot about all the minutiae scribbled on their friends' walls, but less and less about what is taking place in the real world around them.

I have a cell phone and I use my computer and the internet to do my job, but still...there can be too much of a good thing. Thank you for reading my rant. :)


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 5 years ago from Harlingen, Texas Author

I just love it Susan and couldn't agree more. Well said. I know the article is somewhat indigenously hypocritical as it was intended and actually unavoidable as towards the end of your comment you embedded so perfectly. Still in all my buddy (who will remain nameless because it is all I could do to get him to join LinkedIN)was in my opinion all too correct for many of us our technological life has nearly banished us from real life. But then again, NObody mess with my computer or social networks because I need to talk with my FB friends Susan and Debbie tomorrow... ha, ha, LOL Guess I am just a Social Network junkie and hypocrite...LOL. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment Susan.


Susan Joyner-Stumpf 5 years ago

Dr. Lee, to start off with, loved the first video, the Facebook video. What a hoot, I laughed so hard. I enjoyed the other video as well, and gosh, your Article speaks volumes and on so many levels. Who can’t relate, identify, with this story? They’d have to be living under a proverbial rock if they can’t. I mean, if we all met in person, we'd be saying, "I didn't recognize you without your Facebook On," which, think about it, we change our Wall Profiles as many times a day as we might switch clothes or a coffee mug at the office.

Technology today has become its own unique universe. I myself have been on about 25 different sites over a 14 year period; I'm currently on 12 writing sites, 5 Graphic Sites, and that doesn't include sites specific for Animal Lovers, Wolf and Wildlife Preservation Memberships, Paranormal and Alien Life Enthusiasts, sites for Beatle lovers, etc. You name it; if you have an interest in something particular, there's a group out there waiting for you to join them.

I know it's important to have physical interactions "out there in the real world." But I have to admit..........maybe it is an addiction, especially for those like me who may not be crippled per se but I am disabled to the point I can't sit, stand, walk, kneel, squat or bend for too long a period anymore which has retired me from full time working (which I did for 37 years). So actually the Internet is my connection to the outside World. And being a Poet/Writer, it has helped not only to connect to other writers but also has made it easier for my fans and followers to keep up with me over the span of years because they’ve been supportive and loyal. Now they know from Amazon.com where my latest books are and how to buy them.

What did we ever do without Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Writing.com, Word press, Hub, Fan story, Story Star, and all the other 20 sites we're all on or most of them, and others not even mentioned here? Lee, when I get up in the morning, before my first cup of coffee, what am I doing besides seeing my husband off to work in the snow? That's right, I'm grabbing my Android and checking out my open Profiles and updating my Wall Status and Uploading and Downloading files and formats, changing Homepage Wall Themes, adding stream videos from Youtube, Upgrading and Downgrading and freeing up space and blocking spams and Virus-checking and copying/pasting and Sharing and viewing Images on Flickr and scanning pics from my Mobile Uploads and here I've said hello to the whole World, to FB friends in Asia, Russia, London and LA, and I haven't even left my Colorado bed yet and I’m already exhausted but happy. How amazing...but again....we can't lose touch with the outside world…you’re right. Okay….this has nothing to do with the fact that we’re corresponding right this moment via network site from my own personal PC or viewing pages from an RSS stream feed…………….


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 5 years ago from Harlingen, Texas Author

Thank you for taking the time to read my article Debbie as well as your personal experience. I think allot of people are the same in their progression of use. Unfortunately, just like the FaceBook song demonstrates, often people lose their identity and nearly their very souls by being so caught up in the whole thing. May God give all of us wisdom in the utilization of this technology.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Excellent article on technology.. Before I got started using the cell phone and computer and advanced to Facebook and now all over the internet.. the whole thing scared me.. but now being so bold.. I am so excited to learn more every day... love the article.. I voted up and awesome


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 5 years ago from Harlingen, Texas Author

Good article on technology, life and Christianity.

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